It takes a herd of goats, llamas and sheep to mow O'Hare

  • Sheep, goats, donkeys and llamas walk the fence line at O'Hare International Airport property Tuesday as planes land, keeping grass trim in hilly locations.

      Sheep, goats, donkeys and llamas walk the fence line at O'Hare International Airport property Tuesday as planes land, keeping grass trim in hilly locations. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • O'Hare's mowing team of sheep, goats, llamas and donkeys keeps busy as new Chicago Aviation Department Commissioner Ginger Evans, left, gets a close look Tuesday.

      O'Hare's mowing team of sheep, goats, llamas and donkeys keeps busy as new Chicago Aviation Department Commissioner Ginger Evans, left, gets a close look Tuesday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Sheep, goats, donkeys and llamas walk the fence line at O'Hare International Airport property Tuesday as planes land, keeping grass trim in hilly locations.

      Sheep, goats, donkeys and llamas walk the fence line at O'Hare International Airport property Tuesday as planes land, keeping grass trim in hilly locations. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Sheep, goats, donkeys and llamas walk the fence line along O'Hare International Airport property Tuesday as planes land, keeping grass trim in hilly locations. It's the third summer the herd's been at O'Hare.

      Sheep, goats, donkeys and llamas walk the fence line along O'Hare International Airport property Tuesday as planes land, keeping grass trim in hilly locations. It's the third summer the herd's been at O'Hare. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Sheep, goats, donkeys and llamas aren't media shy at O'Hare International Airport Tuesday.

      Sheep, goats, donkeys and llamas aren't media shy at O'Hare International Airport Tuesday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 8/5/2015 5:43 AM

It's been two years since an eclectic herd of llamas, goats, donkeys and sheep descended on a hilltop at O'Hare International Airport and they've been unbleatable since.

Tuesday, new Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans inspected the mowing team that prunes hard-to-reach grass.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The unusual move of bringing in animals to cut grass came because of steep terrain that's unfriendly to conventional mowers. The city must keep its vegetation trim to discourage dangerous pests.

The animals arrived at O'Hare July 2013 and quickly acclimatized, making short work of the fescue and other grasses. Many are from a Will County animal rescue center. The city also contracted with Central Commissary Holdings, a restaurant company, to provide the herd, which in turn partnered with Settler's Pond.

The nonprofit shelter cares for 350 rescues ranging from exotic animals to the burros. Central Commissary has its own herd of goats based at a Barrington farm, which produces goat cheese for the company's Butcher & the Burger restaurant.

The herd's duties include about 120 acres of dense, scrubby vegetation on four sites, at a distance or separated from the airfield by fencing.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.